This ’tiller & treadle’ tricycle was made by the ‘Worthington Mfg Co’ of Elyria. Ohio, USA. The company was established in 1885 by Winslow L. Fay as the ‘Fay Mfg Co’. Fay became successful as a manufacturer of carts, similar to modern wheelchairs, for Civil War amputees and polio victims. Other early products included a dirt scraper used to smooth the roads for cycling, as well an adult tricycle marketed under the ‘Fairy’ name.
Fay sold the company to Arthur Garford in 1891, and he hired a salesman by the name of Fred Colson. Colson became vice president under George Worthington (who had changed the name of the company to the Worthington Manufacturing Company in 1897).
In 1917 Colson persuaded stockholders to merge the Worthington Company and another division of the Fay company to form the Colson Company. As president, Colson created a line of children’s bicycles, scooters and tricycles which were sold to hardware and department stores such as’Sears Roebuck and Co’ under the ‘Fairy’ name.
I bought the remains of this tricycle as an example of a ‘Fairy’ with the Worthington badge.
1897-1916 Worthington Mfg Co ‘Fairy’ tiller & treadle tricycle